World Environment Day is the United Nations biggest annual event for positive environmental action to encourage worldwide awareness of the need to protect our planet. Being celebrated for 45 years, the event has grown to become a global platform for positive public outreach on the environment in over 100 countries.
This year’s host, China, has nominated the theme of Air Pollution to call on governments, industry, communities and individuals to #BeatAirPollution, take action to explore renewable energy and green technologies, and improve the air quality in cities and regions across the world.
With more than 6 billion people, one-third of them children, regularly breathe air that is so polluted it puts their health and well-being at risk, this global challenge requires action and attention.
Air pollution also goes to the heart of social justice and global inequality. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 97% of cities in low- and middle- income countries with more than 100,000 inhabitants do not meet air quality guidelines. That percentage falls to 49 in high-income countries.
The good news is that air pollution is preventable. The solutions in the form of laws, standards, policies, programmes, investments and technologies are widely known and can be implemented.